Northern Ireland news

Prisoner dies in Maghaberry jail

Maghaberry Prison

POLICE and the Prisoner Ombudsman have launched an investigation after a 57-year-old man died in custody at Maghaberry Prison.

The Northern Ireland Prison Service today said it could "confirm the death in custody of a 57-year-old prisoner" at the top security jail in Co Antrim.

The fatality brings to four the number of deaths in custody in Northern Ireland prisons this year.

The man was found dead this morning and it is understood that his next of kin have been informed.

"As with standard procedure, the PSNI, Coroner and Prisoner Ombudsman have launched investigations into the death," a Department of Justice spokesman said.

Ronnie Armour, Head of the Northern Ireland Prison Service, passed on his condolences to the man's family.

"I would like to extend my sympathy and that of the Northern Ireland Prison Service to the family of the prisoner. My thoughts are with them at this difficult time," he said.

The latest fatality brings to four the number of deaths in custody this year.

In May a 38 year-old remand prisoner was found dead in Maghaberry while in Magillian Prison, in Co Derry, two prisoners have died this year.

In August a 27 year-old man was found dead while another prisoner, aged 44, died in March.

While there have been more than 40 deaths in custody recorded in Northern Ireland in the last ten years, the majority have been in Maghaberry where, in 2016, six prisoners died with three in November alone.

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